When Should I Be Giving My Baby Peanut-Containing Foods?

Peanuts are loved and enjoyed by millions of people all over the world. As a matter of fact, peanuts are the preferred snack at most major ballparks. Not only are they delicious but nutritious as well. Peanuts are rich in unsaturated fat, a good fat considered very heart healthy and are an excellent source of vitamin E, niacin, protein, manganese, and folate.

Peanuts are not only consumed in its natural shell-like form but also in a variety of foods likes cereal, breads, spreads, sauces, candy and desserts. Now imagine a world where peanuts are highly and cautiously avoided for a lifetime. For millions of peanut allergy suffers, that world does exist because ingesting just a tiny amount can cause a life-threatening allergic reaction.

What if there was new hope available that can possibly prevent a peanut allergy? Well there is now! A new national health guideline was just issued by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases on January 5, 2017. This new guideline recommends parents to give their infant children foods containing peanuts early and often as a way to avoid life-threatening peanut allergies.

Parents are now encouraged to give their babies peanut-containing foods as early as 4-6 months. “Don’t give your baby whole peanuts or peanut bits, simply give your baby pureed or finger foods containing peanuts if developmentally ready,” said Dr. Payal Patel, a board-certified pediatric allergy and immunology physician at ChicagoENT. “For those who have severe eczema and or egg allergies, an evaluation for peanut allergy should be conducted before introducing peanuts.”

The new guideline is based on a large clinical trial that studied hundreds of British children at risk for peanut allergies. The study administered foods containing peanuts on a regular basis from infancy or withholding all foods with peanuts. By the time the children reached 5 years of age, the research found, 23% of peanut avoiders had food allergies.

Dr. Payal Patel understands firsthand how terrifying and worrisome it can be for many parents to begin giving their infants a food they have always been told to delay. “Since this study was made public, I can’t tell you how many calls I took from parents asking me what if my baby has a reaction?” said Patel. “Rest assured we are here to help you through the process and answer all of your questions.” ChicagoENT offers allergy testing. It’s performed in-office in the care of a board-certified physician, like Dr. Payal Patel.

To make an allergy testing appointment with a board-certified allergy and immunology physician, call ChicagoENT at 773. 296.5500 or make an appointment online 24/7/365 days at ChicagoENT.com Click here to learn more about ChicagoENT’s sinus and allergy relief.